CVS Health completes 1st round of vaccinations at skilled nursing facilities in N.J.

Group, which has been praised by Murphy, should complete 1st round at other long-term care facilities by end of this week

A CVS staffer prepares a shot. (CVS Health)

CVS Health has completed the first round of COVID-19 vaccine doses at the nearly 8,000 skilled nursing facilities it was scheduled to visit across the country — including all 277 on its list in New Jersey. The second round of doses is underway in New Jersey and should be completed in the next few weeks.

In addition, the company has nearly completed the first round of doses in the assisted living and other long-term care facilities in the state. CVS Health expects to be finished with the first round of doses in those facilities by the end of the week. So far, it has completed the first round at 511 of the 821 facilities on its list.

For clarity, the federal pharmacy partnership program divided long-term care facilities into two categories:

  1. Skilled nursing (which began in New Jersey on Dec. 28);
  2. Assisted living and other facilities (which began in New Jersey on Jan. 4).

To date, CVS said it has administered 44,977 doses in skilled nursing facilities and 22,227 in assisted living and other long-term care facilities. It has delivered nearly 2 million doses nationwide.

Gov. Phil Murphy has repeatedly praised CVS Health for its effort — while also noting that Walgreens has not been as proficient in its efforts.

Karen Lynch, a current executive vice president who will become CEO of CVS Health on Feb. 1, said she is pleased with the company’s progress.

“We’ve administered nearly 2 million shots to one of our most vulnerable populations through onsite and, in many cases, room-to-room visits,” she said. “Our dedicated health care professionals are reaching long-term care residents and staff as soon as possible based on activation dates selected by the states, while navigating the challenges of a complex rollout.”

When the efforts in long-term care facilities are complete, CVS Health will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines in some of its pharmacy locations, subject to product availability and prioritization of populations.

CVS Pharmacy officials have said the company has the capacity to administer 20-25 million shots per month.

“Our impact at retail will be significant, given our presence in communities across the country and more than 90,000 pharmacists, licensed pharmacy technicians and nurses who will proudly take part in the vaccination effort,” Lynch said.